Walking Tours

Learn About Portland’s Rich Architectural History

The Architectural Heritage Center presents walking tours of historic and architecturally significant neighborhoods and sites around Portland, Oregon. From May through August we lead Wednesday and Thursday evening tours, with additional tours on weekends throughout the year. We are also able to provide private group walking tours. If your group is interested in a private tour, contact the AHC for more information. Be advised that all scheduled tours run rain or shine. Our knowledgeable, trained, volunteer guides welcome you to learn more about our area’s history and architecture.

Please check out our Schedule + Registration page for the most up-to-date calendar of walking tours and other AHC education programs.

Hawthorne Boulevard Neighborhood

Explore one of Portland’s “streetcar suburbs” on this tour that mixes residential and commercial.

Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood

Check out this amazing northeast Portland neighborhood bordered by the Banfield Freeway, Lloyd Center, and Irvington.

Lair Hill Neighborhood

This tour explores one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, touching on the themes of immigration and urban renewal, while viewing fantastic late 19th and early 20th century architecture.

Willamette Heights Neighborhood

Some of Portland’s most notable architects designed homes in Willamette Heights, an area that borders the site of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. You will learn all about the fantastic homes in the area. So dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and join guides for a strenuous walk through the hilly-but-amazing Willamette Heights neighborhood.

Skidmore – Old Town Historic District

There may be no better way to see the oldest part of downtown than by attending this always popular summer evening walking tour. Come learn the history of the area in which Portland began. Get an up-close understanding of how architectural cast-iron was used throughout most of the last half of the 19th century.

Portland’s Yamhill Historic District and Beyond

This tour explores the interesting history and architecture of the Yamhill Historic District and the nearby historic buildings of SW Second and Third avenues of Portland, Oregon. Portland’s Yamhill National Register Historic District contains some of the earliest remaining buildings in downtown. Among them are fantastic 19th century buildings like the Poppleton, known for the whimsical faces on its upper façade.

Terra Cotta Downtown Portland

Explore Portland’s downtown terra cotta district. You’ll find a new appreciation for this versatile material as we take a closer look at the architectural details and ornamentation it made possible.

Ladds Addition Historic District

Prominent business and civic leader William S. Ladd designed the neighborhood that bears his name in 1891, but did not live to see any of the homes there constructed. This walking tour explores Ladd’s Addition, its importance in Portland history, and its connections to the City Beautiful movement.

Northwest Portland Sacred Spaces

In the late 19th century Northwest Portland was the most prestigious neighborhood in the city. Today, numerous well-preserved historic residences and apartment buildings contribute to the distinctive character of the community. Situated in close proximity in this high-density area are several worship spaces built during the Portland boom years of 1890 to 1930. We’ll visit four of these sacred spaces and learn about the history and architecture of each: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, the former First Christian Science Church and Temple Beth-Israel.

King’s Hill Historic District

Many of Portland’s most notable late 19th and early 20th century architects designed homes in this hilly National Register Historic District. The neighborhood is also known for its wonderful landscape architecture, serving as a gateway to Washington Park.

Colonial Heights Neighborhood

Come discover this under-appreciated but charming southeast Portland neighborhood, which boasts an array of architectural styles – from English Cottage and Colonial Revival to mid-century modern and Northwest Regionalism. The tour will meander throughout Colonial Heights, highlighting both residential and religious structures as tour-goers learn about the people who developed and lived in this fantastic neighborhood.

We have also offered tours of Downtown Modernism, South Park Blocks, Pearl District, Sunnyside-Belmont neighborhood, Piedmont neighborhood, Historic Albina, Boise neighborhood and Mississippi Avenue, Irvington Historic District, East Portland / Grand Avenue Historic District, Central Eastside and Produce Row, Sellwood neighborhood, Westmoreland neighborhood, Historic Oregon City, and many others.